Not only did Judge slip on the No. 99 uniform and finalize the nine-year, $360 million deal Wednesday morning, but Steinbrenner announced another item that everyone was expecting — the 30-year-old is now the 16th captain in franchise history. There had been rumors that Judge could leave New York for the San Francisco Giants, and even the San Diego Padres were reportedly a “last minute” contender in the sweepstakes.
However, the four-time All-Star said that his heart was always in the “Big Apple.”
Judge’s return to the Bronx comes as the Yankees’ crosstown rivals — the New York Mets — and owner Steve Cohen continue their monster offseason. Despite losing ace Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers in early December, the Mets have more than made up for his departure in recent weeks.
They’ve replaced deGrom with fellow multi-Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, brought in Japanese star hurler Kodai Senga and re-signed outfielder Brandon Nimmo and stud closer Edwin Diaz, among other moves. Then perhaps the biggest shocker of them all came on Wednesday morning, as two-time All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa spurned the San Francisco Giants to join Cohen’s bunch in Queens.
When the Mets and Yankees meet for the first time during the 2023 regular season in June, the matchup surely won’t be lacking star power.